How To Save A Relationship That Is Failing: 17 Inspiring Tips

Easy-to-follow tips to sustain your romantic relationship going through a rough patch.

Reviewed by Dr Nancy B Irwin, PsyD
Written by Sneha Tete, Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach
Edited by Madhumati Chowdhury, MA (English Literature)
Fact-checked by Gracia Odile, MA  • 

Relationships are dynamic. They have ups and downs. But, sometimes, you need to know how to save a relationship to maintain peace in your life. Sustaining a romantic relationship is not easy. Instead of letting it get out of hand, it is best to acknowledge the issues and address them.

Love, respect, and trust are the three pillars of a healthy long-term relationship. Sacrifice and patience help nurture the relationship and give it the strength to last longer.

This article lists out 17 exciting tips on how to save a broken relationship. Read on!

Signs That A Relationship Is Failing

1. Arguments Over Simple Things

Fights in a relationship are inevitable. But if you and your partner are arguing over simple things, it is a big sign that you need to tie up loose ends before your relationship falls apart. These small arguments can cause rifts between couples which one day becomes too huge to be repaired.

2. You Find It Difficult To Forgive Each Other

It is important to forgive each other to move on from a fight. If you are unable to forgive your partner for their mistakes even after a long time, this is a warning sign. When you forgive your partner despite everything, it shows you still love and respect them. However, if this goes missing, you and your partner should consider learning how to heal a relationship after a fight.

3. Lack Of Physical Intimacy

Commitments like work, kids, and family might reduce the frequency of sex between couples. However, it should not reach a point where you do not have sex at all for months. Apart from sex, couples also share physical intimacy like cuddling, hugging, and kissing. If your relationship lacks these factors, it’s time to fix the issues.

4. You Have Stopped Respecting Your Partner

It is not just love that sustains a relationship but also respect. Love and respect go hand in hand, and their proper balance makes a relationship strong and beautiful. If you have started to question your respect for your partner, you are up for a difficult time ahead.

5. You Have To Compromise Your Morals And Values.

If you are compromising on your morals and values to sustain the relationship, it is a red flag. You have an identity outside the relationship which defines you as a person. If you have to compromise on your ethics and principles, sit down with your partner and have an open conversation.

6. Your Friends And Family Disapprove Of The Relationship

A few family members and friends who know you closely might help you discover things about yourself you never knew existed before. If these close friends and family disapprove of your relationship, they might see some things you are unable to see. Do not reject them straight away. Try to listen and understand the reason behind their concern.

7. You Have Stopped Spending Time With Each Other

Partners wish to spend quality time together without any interference. The desire to be with each other creates a safe place where communication happens organically. If spending time with your partner is no longer organic and feels mechanical, where you make yourself do it because it is the right thing, reconsider your relationship.

Check out some exciting tips on how to save a broken relationship in the next section.

How To Save A Failing Relationship

1. Avoid Making Rash Decisions

You might say hurtful things to your partner during a heated argument and decide the future of your relationship based on that anger. This may break the trust they have in you and the relationship. Instead of being impulsive and making rash decisions, both you and your partner take some time to cool off and think things through. When you both feel ready to discuss the issue, state your positions calmly and lend an ear to each other. Try stating your problems from an ‘I’ point of view rather than going for ‘you’ statements as the latter might make your partner feel attacked. Be open to finding the solution to the problem and meet each other halfway to make the relationship work.

2. Focus On Solving The Problem

If you and your partner are fighting, shift your attention and energy to solve the problem rather than defend yourself. By focusing on what and why things went wrong, you will be able to solve the current problem and avoid any conflicts in the future. Sweet fights are healthy in a relationship, but too many fights can be harmful. Done right, fights can actually bring you closer to one another. You learn what your partner’s landmines are, what they need, etc. Therefore, do not let your ego come between you both.

3. Communicate With Each Other

Communication is the key to a strong relationship and deeper connection. Small arguments can escalate into full-blown fights due to lack of communication.  Hence, it is crucial to communicate honestly with your partner. Do not shy away from telling them about your feelings, emotions, and fears.

Follow a no-judgment approach when your partner talks about their problems. Validate their feelings; that means, allow their feelings to be valid. Our feelings are always right for us at the time we experience them. Telling your partner not to feel a certain way, or they shouldn’t feel that way, is disrespectful. Try to find a solution to the problem rather than defending yourself or blaming your partner. Reflect on the situation critically, weigh both of your emotions, keep your ego aside, and reconcile soon.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Try to cut out external influence or at least be critical of it as it can brew toxicity in your relationship. The important thing is to properly communicate with each other and keep external energy out of it.

4. Acknowledge The Differences

You will become more aware of your differences once you start communicating openly with your partner. However, do not stress about it. Sharing a life does not necessarily mean you have to share your opinions, likes, and dislikes. Respect and acknowledge your differences to maintain a healthy bond and save your relationship from falling apart.

5. Do Not Give Up Easily

It can be difficult to keep a positive outlook after every fight. However, keep the faith and do not lose hope in your relationship. Never hold grudges or set expectations from your partner. Speak to your partner and work a way out whenever you feel hopeless.

When your partner communicates the same with you, be understanding and do not take it personally. You can also discuss your problems with close friends and family if it gets overwhelming. However, be careful what you share with well-intentioned family and friends as you might taint their relationship with your partner. It’s better to consult with a professional.

6. Identify Both Of Your Needs

You may have some emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, and creative needs from your partner. Similarly, your partner will also have certain needs. Sit together and identify each other’s needs. Concentrate on fulfilling your individual needs, the needs of your partner, and relationship needs. You can even create a list of both of your needs and keep track of them.

7. Go Back To The Good Old Days

Couples forget what they shared as the relationship advances. The exciting things in the initial phase of the relationship are forgotten, and the spark begins to fizzle out. However, do not fall into this trap.

Revisit the good old days and recreate memories to keep the excitement alive. Participate in couples’ activities that you used to engage in previously. This can help solve the problem and make you and your partner happy again.

protip_icon Pro Tip
We often lose sight of the little things in a relationship. When your relationship feels like it’s failing, think back on the beginning and what drew you to your partner. This can help you re-evaluate your relationship and find reasons to stay together anew.

8. Rebuild The Broken Trust

Relationships cannot solely survive on love. They also require mutual respect, trust, and faith. If you have broken the trust, admit your mistake, take responsibility for your actions, acknowledge the hurt you inflicted on your partner, ask for forgiveness, and give your partner time to recover.

9. A Simple Thank You Can Go A Long Way

Little things can go a long way in a relationship. Appreciate your partner, and do not shy away from saying thank you. This will show your partner you respect them and appreciate their presence in your life. You can also engage in small gestures to say thank you, such as brewing their favorite cup of coffee or bringing them flowers.

A study on 1575 healthcare workers with high emotional exhaustion (EE) asked them to write one or two gratitude letters. After 1 week of follow-up, it was found that 56.7% wanted to dedicate a gratitude letter to someone, 75.4% found it easier to think of things they were grateful for, and 81.23% wanted to improve their EE state.

10. Do Not Be Afraid To Compromise

If you are committed to sharing your life with someone, learn to compromise. Not all things in your relationship will happen according to your preferences. You should be ready to make some sacrifices for the happiness and peace of your partner. The probability of your partner doing the same for you is high. This will not only save your relationship but also make you happy and satisfied.

11. Try New Things Together

Wondering how to get back the spark in your relationship? Try new things together and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Meet new people, gain new experiences, and build a new perspective towards your life and relationship. A new perspective will allow both of you to let go of your past grudges and painful memories. You can try baking together, couple yoga sessions, hiking and trekking, paragliding, karate classes, dance classes, and more.

12. Take Out Time For Each Other

The key to make a relationship work and last long is to make time for each other despite busy schedules. Among work commitments, raising children, and social obligations, couples often forget to take time for each other. This is one of the major reasons why relationships fail. It can be difficult to prioritize but do that. Go on dates, weekend trips, and show interest in each other to reignite the spark.

13. Find The Love Language Of Your Partner

Each person experiences and expresses love differently. There are primarily five kinds of love languages – words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. If you do not know your partner’s love language, get them to take a love language quiz. Depending on the result, plan a surprise for your partner along the same lines. This will not only help bring back love in your relationship but also bring each other closer.

14. Indulge In Physical Touch

Physical intimacy does not necessarily mean sex or any sexual activity. It can be as simple as cuddling, holding hands, hugging your partner before leaving for work, or kissing while watching a movie. These little, feel-good gestures will help you reconnect with your partner even when both of you are angry. If your partner is also putting similar efforts, acknowledge them and work towards creating a happy and healthy relationship.

15. Respect Each Other’s Boundaries

Boundaries in a relationship help couples understand each other’s expectations, desires, and non-negotiables. If your partner has set up some boundaries in your relationship, do not fight and try to understand them. If you have trouble understanding and respecting your partner’s boundaries, fix this problem as soon as possible.

16. Nurture Your Friendship

Partners are not just lovers but also friends. Apart from a deep connection, trust, and faith, partners must also share friendship. This allows couples to keep it both intense and light. Relationships that begin with friendships allow you to see your partner objectively. Knowing your partner from the perspective of their past life helps you connect deeply on a spiritual level.

17. Visit A Counselor

Couples therapy is the correct way forward to be happy in your relationship again. Find a good counselor who can help you and your partner figure out the differences and save your relationship. Some benefits of seeking help from a counselor are

  • Identify deep-rooted problems in your relationship
  • Learn to communicate freely with your partner
  • Solve intense and complicated problems
  • Deepen the connection with your partner
  • Become self-aware of your feelings and emotions
  • Put an end to unproductive and hurtful arguments

Key Takeaways

  • Issues in any relationship are common, and knowing how to tackle them saves your relationship.
  • Frequent arguments, lack of quality time together, disapproval from friends and family, and lack of mutual respect are the signs of a failing relationship.
  • Transparent communication, spending time together, acknowledging mistakes, and building trust can save your relationship.
  • It would help if you never gave up easily.

If you feel strain in your relationship, it is time to double your efforts to make it work. The following video lays out simple strategies for you to help strengthen your relationship. Check it out.

You need trust, respect, and love for a relationship to work. However, not all relationships are built or continue to stand on these pillars, making them fail eventually. Some signs of a failing relationship include arguments over petty things, lack of physical intimacy, difficulty forgiving each other, and lack of respect. Despite these signs, you may be able to save your relationship sometimes. You must focus on solving the problems rather than blaming each other, communicate more, work on trust-building, acknowledge your differences, and understand each other’s needs, desires, and love languages to keep the relationship afloat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can breakups make a relationship stronger?

Yes. Breakups, no matter how painful they are, serve an essential purpose. They draw attention to the issues a couple is facing in their relationship. It allows you to step back and assess the severity of the problem. Then, you can take the time necessary to reflect on what went wrong, what you can change, and what sort of long-term solutions you can put into place in the future.

How to save a relationship over text?

When it comes to saving a relationship, it is best not to attempt to do it over text. There is no better way to do it than with a face-to-face conversation. But, if you are in a long-distance relationship or any other situation where a physical meeting is not possible, you can try to work things over text. Here are a few rules you can keep in mind:
• State the issue clearly.
• Try to be as unbiased as possible.
• Avoid using accusatory language.
• Avoid swearing.
• Suggest some solutions for the problem at hand.
• Don’t attempt an immediate reply. Give your partner time and space to think things through before responding to your texts.

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